Bluehanded Vintage Indigo Katazome also known as Lan Yin Hua Bu are the inspiration and starting point of Bluehanded’s journey into developing contemporary natural indigo dyed fabrics using traditional resist paste techniques handed down by generations of indigo masters. Increasingly rare examples of Lan Yin Hua Bu can still be found in the country side villages, dating back 100 years. The cotton was hand woven, which is no longer made and the fading achieved through the years of use and being hand washed on river stones.
There are 2 main types of cloths:
- Square: ‘Wrap cloths’ used to store and carry personal items were folded at the corners and tied together. A symbolic silk flying bat, sewn in one corner was a sign of prestige
- Rectangular: these were traditionally bed covers, often given as wedding presents or for children’s bedding. The symbols and designs were to wish long life, prosperity and a happy life together or good luck with the children’s exams.
Chinese for ‘Patched Fabric’ is similar to Japanese ‘Boro’. It recollects the austere revolutionary days of China where little was wasted yet Lan Yin Hua Bu was still a part of rural life ‘luxury’ and continued when much else was lost.
During these difficult times, the only indigo fabric made, was made for export to Japan. The patchwork, re-pair of something old, also represents the loss of Chinese culture and efforts to keep it alive.
Antique Indigo and Pin Bu can be combined with newly dyed fabric, using traditional methods.
Lan Yin Hua Bu–‘Blue-printed (dyed) Flowery Cloth’
Dating back to the Song dynasty, over 800 years ago, indigo-dyeing resist printing skills enjoy a long history in China. The process can be divided into four main types: Tie Dye, Batik, Valerian Fold and ours, Resist paste.
The poetic Mandarin name Lan yin hua bu – ‘blue-printed flower cloth’ emphasises the flower-based designs, but there are also many simple and geometric patterns. Despite being centuries old, they look surprisingly modern.
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